Favourite Space | Kelly Davis

It's great to be able to kick off 2018 with one of our 'favourite space' posts, and we know you're going to love this one belonging to Kelly Davis. Kelly and her husband, Julian (or Jules as Kelly calls him), own Davcon, a building company specialising in high quality new homes, home alterations, and commercial work throughout Hawke's Bay.

Kelly and Jules worked with architect, Graeme Weaver, when it came to building their own family home in the Esk Hills two years ago, which they share with their three young sons, Louis (10 yrs), and twins, Felix and Rocco (9 yrs).

Kelly's favourite space is her 'mustard room', a living room which she likes to call her own. A feminine space where she encourages children not to venture. With beautiful views to the outdoors, it enjoys the last of the day's sun, and is cosy in the cooler months with the help of the very cool concrete fireplace.

Although feminine, the room also has an edginess to it with it's bold mustard carpet and dark walls. Kelly always knew she wanted this room when they started the design, but her main fear was that it would end up looking like a bumblebee. With the help of two of her friends, Hannah and Ana, who also have great design sense, Kelly chose a charcoal paint colour to team with the carpet. The strong contrast is then softened with Chesterfield-style sofas, a Chiang Mai coffee table, and layers of cushions, candles, flowers and accessories.

Time for our Q&A's so we can get to know Kelly a little better...

Tell us about your favourite space, and what you most love about it?

I love my “mustard room” because it’s quite a feminine space, which surprises me when it has such bold colours. But with a house full of boys (even the cat’s male) I wanted a gentle, feminine area somewhere in the house, and it has evolved into that. I love having fresh flowers, lighting a candle, and just hanging out in it whenever I get the chance. It’s a “no wrestling zone”. 😊

What’s your favourite time of the day?

I love it in the afternoon when I’ve picked the kids up from school. If we have no after-school activities, I often go into the mustard room, as it’s the sunny part of the house at that time, and fold the washing!

A morning yoga class straight after the school drop-off is also a lovely time of day.

Who or what inspires you?

I love people who march to the beat of their own drum, whether it’s artistically or musically. People who just have that inner knowledge that what they’re doing is right for them, so they just go about doing their thing 100% authentically.

What are you reading/listening to right now?

When I don’t get sucked down the Facebook/Instagram rabbit warren, I’m slowly reading Brene Brown’s “Braving the Wilderness” – I love the research she’s done on ‘Vulnerability’; and our current bookclub book is a Maisie Dobbs' mystery (I think I’m on Chapter 2 - lol).

I'm listening to my kids; but I also love Imagine Dragons and have “Thunder” on repeat at the moment. 

Sweet or savoury?

Savoury – cheese & crackers over dessert any day. 

Favourite drink?

My brother Casey made espresso martinis on Christmas day that were a bit decadent.

Favourite thing/item you own?

The baby grand my cousin gave me is a great love and I am so grateful to him for giving it to me, but my friends might say the mustard carpet because they know I’m a bit precious about it! I invited people to a New Year’s Eve party but told them in the invite they weren’t allowed to eat or drink on my mustard carpet, and a friend cheekily replied, ‘unless the food is of the yellow variety, as in pineapple or papaya!’.

Kelly knew there wasn't the space for a seperate music room in their plans, so she had Graeme Weaver include a nook in her front living room especially for her piano.

Top of your wish list for your home?

A lot of landscaping! Along with a pool and some outdoor furniture to go with it.

Thank you so much Kelly and Jules for allowing us into your amazing home and letting us share a little piece of it. To all our readers, make sure you check out some of Davcon's other projects if you're looking for a first rate building team.

Kelly's mustard room was truely special, but quite frankly the whole house is incredible. We couldn't resist showing you a sneak peek of another of our favourite rooms - the dining room which overlooks Esk Valley...

The cat was also super cute! He co-ordinated beautifully with the mustard room, but was quite partial to the large green rug in the other living room.

Let's finish with a quick tip... we love a large rug to ground furniture and help zone a space. A cost-effective solution for this is to get a piece of carpet cut to the right size and have the edges bound, as Kelly has done here. Also, if you're not brave enough to carpet your room in mustard (or olive green), a large rug is a great alternative.

Kitchen Makeover

As interior designers it's a blessing to work with amazing clients who trust in your designs and follow them through. One such client is Fiona, whose living and dining rooms we've already transformed. Fi has great taste but came to us to help her narrow down her options and create a home that would reflect her cool and eclectic style.

We recently finished a complete kitchen renovation giving Fi a modern kitchen with lots of extra storage while still in keeping with her cottage's traditional bones. Once again we worked with Rick and his team at Sunshine Joinery, whose workmanship is fantastic. The tiny two bedroom cottage had an equally tiny kitchen between the entrance and dining room. Although small, it was in proportion with the house, but it just felt a bit tired and in need of some TLC.

We lightened and brightened the space with all white cabinetry and bench top. The panelled cabinetry adds subtle texture and helps it to fit in with the traditional cottage surrounds. Negative detail handles also keep the kitchen humble and not too flashy.

Fi bought the pink Smeg fridge before we started designing the kitchen, so that was a key component for us to work the design around. That was another reason to keep the kitchen light and white to allow the fridge to be the hero. Wooden shelves and a Turkish rug also bring a touch of warmth to the space.

An old wall cupboard was replaced with open shelves so Fi could display some favourite pieces and add touches of her personality.

In a small space it's crucial to utilise all available space wisely, especially vertical space, so we filled the wall above the fridge with cupboards. We chose to use handleless cupboards above so we could keep the small space clean and unfussy. We moved the oven and cooktop around to this wall allowing room for a single dish drawer where the oven once was. Initially we priced up a stone bench top, but to keep within budget we decided on a plain white laminate bench and we're really happy with the outcome. The marble subway tiles add that touch of stone and some subtle pattern. 

Outside the kitchen a set of stairs leads you up to the front door and entranceway. The old carpet was ripped up and we chose a beautiful two-tone wool loop pile carpet from Cavalier Bremworth to replace it. It runs from the kitchen stairs up to the entrance floor and the stairs beyond that take you to the master bedroom.

Any available walls are covered in Fi's extensive art collection, which is a perfect way to reflect her eclectic style.

The small wall at the base of the stairs, between the dining room and the hall to the living room was another space we thought we could utilise better. We had Sunshine Joinery build us a really shallow cupboard with bi-fold doors - shallow enough so that it didn't come out into the room too far and block the flow, but deep enough to fit cans and cups and saucers. We haven't got a full photo of the cupboard but you can get an idea of the depth from the photo below where two wooden birds from Homebase Collection perch. You also get a glimpse of the cupboard in the third photo in this post.

Walking in Fi's front door is such a fun experience and starts speaking to you immediately about her personality. After this welcome the kitchen is the first room you see, so we're really pleased with how beautiful it looks, not to mention it's way more functional. Thanks Fi for being such a cool client to work with and allowing us to share our work and your home.

Cavalier Bremworth + Fashion Quarterly | Giveaway

Dael and I were lucky enough to attend the launch of fabulous new products from Cavalier Bremworth recently, and we were so impressed, not only with their range but their company as a whole. Bringing together gorgeous carpet with high end fashion, they have just collaborated with Fashion Quarterly magazine with a four page spread in the latest Spring issue.

The stunning carpets featured include the chunky felted wool loop pile Galet, and the timeless classic loop pile Levante, and they are styled with brands such as Ruby, Zoe & Morgan, Liam and Lonely Hearts.

To celebrate the collaboration, Cavalier Bremworth are running an Instagram competition giving you the chance to win two issues of Fashion Quarterly. They have 40 prize packs to giveaway and all you have to do is follow Cavalier Bremworth on Instagram and tag a friend in this image. To see the full terms and conditions pop over here.